'Ask and it shall be given' is an often quoted biblical saying. I have sometimes believed in this concept. But sometimes I have not believed in this concept because this concept conflicts with another concept 'God knows what you need. So, you don't have to ask Him for anything. You will get what you deserve.'
Philosophy can be confusing. There are conflicting and divergent ideas presented even in the same philosophical work. We have to choose what seems appropriate to us.
I am reserved and self-restrained by nature. I won't even ask people even the time of the day. I will rather look for a source from which I can gauge the time myself. I realized how many opportunities I had lost when people told me 'Why, if you had asked me, I would have given it /done it!" Sometimes people have even told me "In fact, I was expecting that you would ask me for this but I was surprised that you didn't." How frustrating it is to know that there was someone ready and even waiting to help you but you lost an opportunity by not asking!
When we don't have opportunities, we can't do anything about the situation, but when we have opportunities but miss them by not asking for help, guidance or support, then it is our own folly.
In another blog about the reflections from my life, I have mentioned how, in the beginning of my career, I lost a job opportunity in a public sector organization because of my reluctance to ask my employer for leave for attending the interview in a far off place. In retrospect, I had felt that if I had asked for permission to attend that interview, my employer, realizing that it was a good opportunity for me, would have allowed me to attend the interview.
Asking can be of many types - asking for information, asking for guidance, asking for help, asking for feedback, asking whether the other person needs our help, asking about something we want to know, asking for favors, asking people to fulfill their commitments (eg. a lender asking the borrower for repayment of the loan) and so on.
Think of the times in which people have asked you for something and you have obliged them and of the times when you have declined their requests. Chances are that the number of times you obliged others is more than the number of times you said 'no.' Most of the people have a natural tendency to say 'yes.' It is up to us to take advantage of this.
Whenever we feel a need to ask, we tend to suppress the need because we want to avoid feeling bad if the other person says 'no.' It is very simple to change your attitude. Ask people if there is a need for asking, with an open mind. If they say 'yes,' you gain. If they say no, you have nothing to lose and there is no need for you to feel bad about it. Getting 'no' for an answer is no rejection. If you can develop this kind of a mindset, you won't find 'asking.' Just observe other people. You will find that there are numerous people who have no hesitation in asking even strangers for help and often getting what they want.
Next time when you feel the need to ask something of someone, ask! You will not regret your asking!